Wednesday, December 19, 2018

I'll Be Quirky: SUNY-Stony Brook

Potential file footage of your fearless blogger in enemy territory.

The Flying Dutchmen locked up the MAAC championship last Monday, when they capped a perfect three-game run through the league by trouncing Manhattan, 80-50. The Dutchmen will look to secure bragging rights with another local entity tonight, when they board sled dogs and make the long trek out to the middle of nowhere to face SUNY-Stony Brook. Here are looks back at the wins over Manhattan as well as Rider and a look ahead to the Patriots. 

Justin Wright-Foreman (24 points, six assists) had his usual big game and Tareq Coburn (19 points, eight rebounds) made an immediate impact in his first game as a starter for the Dutchmen, who pulled away late to beat Rider, 89-73. The Dutchmen turned a close game into a rout by closing out the Broncs with an 11-0 run that ended with dunks by Jacquil Taylor and Coburn. Desure Buie had 14 points and six assists while Eli Pemberton (12 points, seven rebounds, five assists) had another Loren Stokes-ian game. Big men Taylor (eight points, six rebounds) and Dan Dwyer (six points, seven rebounds) combined for 14 points and 13 rebounds in 40 minutes.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Rider 12/8)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Tareq Coburn
1: Desure Buie

Justin Wright-Foreman 30
Eli Pemberton 12
Tareq Coburn 5
Desure Buie 5
Jalen Ray 4
Stafford Trueheart 2
Jacquil Taylor 1
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “I’m going to give you a coach line here. We tell the guys it’s not who starts the game, it’s who finishes. (Coburn’s) been playing so well, we figured that maybe he’ll give us a little bit of a boost starting the game as opposed to coming off the bench. He made us all look smart by playing the way he played today.”

Tareq Coburn cemented his spot in the lineup by collecting a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Dutchmen finally got some revenge on Manhattan with a rout in the Bronx (which still doesn’t make any sense). The win snapped a five-game losing streak to Manhattan dating back to the 2011-12 season. That’s a long time ago. The Dutchmen led by 39 with two minutes left before the Jaspers scored the game’s final nine points. Desure Buie scored 18 points and added a game-high six assists and three steals as the Dutchmen made the Jaspers pay for double-teaming Justin Wright-Foreman (14 points, five rebounds), who had his quietest game of the year. Jalen Ray added 13 points.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Manhattan 12/10)
3: Tareq Coburn
2: Desure Buie
1: Justin Wright-Foreman

Justin Wright-Foreman 31
Eli Pemberton 12
Tareq Coburn 8
Desure Buie 7
Jalen Ray 4
Stafford Trueheart 2
Jacquil Taylor 1
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “Surprised it happened. I’m not surprised we won, I felt like we could win the game, I felt like we’re a good team. But I’m surprised it happened the way it did.”

Yes! The Dutchmen had never before won a game 89-73 or 80-50. They have now won three games by unicorn scores this season. The Dutchmen beat North Carolina A&T, 92-72, on Nov. 14. The term unicorn score was coined by Mets superfan, historian and blogger Greg Prince to describe a score by which the Mets had never previously won. 

The closest score to 89-73 was an 89-71 win over Long Island University on Nov. 11, 2011. Ironically, in that it’s not ironic at all, the Dutchmen’s wins earlier this season over Monmouth and Kennesaw State were by scores they hadn’t produced since beating LIU in 1979 and 1988, respectively. This is the good content, kids.


“It must be so lonely to think that you have only somebody else’s life to life if they let you.”

The Dutchmen ended the win over Rider on an 11-0 run. It was the first time the Dutchmen have ended a game by scoring the final 10 points or more since Feb. 23, 2017, when they mounted a 15-0 run to close out a 96-82 win over William & Mary.

With the win over Rider, the Dutchmen improved to 6-0 at home this season while extending their overall home winning streak to 10 games dating back to Feb. 15. The six straight wins to open the home schedule are the most by a Dutchmen squad since the 2015-16 team won its first six home games. Per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, the longest home winning streak for the Dutchmen in the CAA era (2001-present) is a 21-game streak from Jan. 22, 2005 to Mar. 16, 2006.

The 80-50 win over Manhattan marked the most lopsided road win for the Flying Dutchmen since Jan. 2, 2016, when they beat Towson, 90-58. In addition, the rout of the Jaspers marked the 10th time the Dutchmen have won by at least 30 points in the Joe Mihalich Era (2013-present) and the seventh time they have done so against a Division I foe.

Dec. 10, 2018: 80-50 at Manhattan
Nov. 30, 2017: 107-72 vs. Molloy
Dec. 13, 2016: 96-58 vs. SUNY-Stony Brook
Nov. 25, 2016: 89-56 vs. Medaille
Jan. 2, 2016: 90-58 at Towson
Nov. 16, 2015: 96-64 vs. Molloy
Feb. 25, 2015: 73-40 vs. Charleston
Dec. 10, 2014: 105-64 at Coppin State
Nov. 28, 2014: 86-56 at Jackson State
Nov. 14, 2014: 94-61 vs. Jacksonville

The win over Manhattan marked the third straight game in which the Dutchmen beat a MAAC foe and gave them a perfect 4-0 record against the MAAC this season. This marks the first time the Dutchmen have gone at least 3-0 against another league in non-conference play since the 2014-15 season, when went 3-0 against the Northeast Conference with wins over Wagner, Long Island University and Central Connecticut State. The four games against the MAAC this season were the most Hofstra has played against one league in the non-conference schedule since 1993-94, when the Dutchmen, who were really known as the Dutchmen back then, played four North Atlantic Conference foes in the program’s final pre-NAC season.

Justin Wright-Foreman didn’t lead the Dutchmen in scoring for the first time this season last Monday, when he ranked third on the team with 14 points against Manhattan. That snapped a streak of 12 straight games, dating back to Feb. 24, in which Wright-Foreman was the Dutchmen’s leading scorer. It was the longest stretch of consecutive games in which one player held at least a share of the Hofstra lead in scoring since—and you probably saw this coming—Wright-Foreman had a 13-game streak from Nov. 25, 2017 through Jan. 13. He led the Dutchmen in scoring 12 times and shared the lead once in that span.

That, in turn, was one game short of Wright-Foreman’s longest streak of team-leading scoring efforts, a 14-game run he enjoyed from Jan. 21, 2017 through Nov. 13, 2017. The 14-game streak is the longest by a Hofstra player in the Division I ear. 

With his 14 points against Manhattan, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 64 straight games, the most by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home). In addition, Wright-Foreman’s streak is now the second-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov.

Justin Wright-Foreman: 64 straight games 12/11/16-present
Charles Jenkins 58 straight games 12/12/09-3/15/11*** 
Antoine Agudio 48 straight games 3/6/06-1/17/08****
Juan’ya Green: 43 straight games 11/14/14-12/9/15 
Loren Stokes 41 straight games 2/20/06-3/14/07*** 
Loren Stokes: 34 straight games 1/14/04-1/31/05

***streak ended with the end of the player’s Hofstra career
****Agudio had three DNPs during his streak

The 14 points against Manhattan were the second-fewest Wright-Foreman has scored during his double-digit scoring streak and the fewest since he was held to 11 points by James Madison on Feb. 22. In addition, it was just the 15th time he has scored fewer than 20 points since his streak began Dec. 11, 2016 and eighth time he has limited to 15 points or fewer.

With his 22 points against Manhattan, Tareq Coburn became the first player other than Justin Wright-Foreman or Eli Pemberton to lead the Dutchmen in scoring since Jan. 14, 2017, when Deron Powers had 20 points in an 84-76 loss to UNC Wilmington. That was 56 games ago!

Tareq Coburn recorded his second double-double of the season against Manhattan, when he finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He is the first Dutchman to have multiple double-doubles in a season since—and you probably saw this coming—Rokas Gustys had 14 double-doubles last year.

With his 38 points in the last two games, Justin Wright-Foreman moved within striking distance of Norman Richardson for ninth place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list. He is 16 points away from surging past Richardson. 

8.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
9.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
10.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 1,662 (2015-present)
11.) Frank Walker 1,437 (1985-89)
12.) Leroy Allen 1,435 (1983-87)

A season after scoring 755 points, an average of 24.4 points per game, Justin Wright-Foreman has scored 283 points in 11 games, an average of 25.7 points per game. The latter figure would be the highest average by a Hofstra player since Rich Laurel averaged a program-record 30.3 points per game during the 1976-77 season.

With that in mind, I looked up Newsday from the 1976-77 season on microfilm (GOOGLE IT CRAIN) to try and track the game-by-game progress of both Laurel and Wright-Foreman. And there were box scores from all 30 games! This made me unnaturally happy.

Anyway, here are Laurel’s totals through the first 11 games of the 1976-77 season, a stretch in which he collected 317 points and averaged 28.8 points per game.

vs. C.W. Post 11/27: 25 pts
vs. Dowling 11/28: 14 pts
vs. Temple 12/2: 26 pts
vs. CCNY 12/4: 29 pts
vs. Duquesne 12/10: 29 pts
vs. Southern Illinois 12/11: 31 pts
vs. St. Francis (NY) 12/16: 43 pts
vs. Rhode Island 12/18: 37 pts
vs. Catholic 12/20: 31 pts
vs. Villanova 12/27: 23 pts
vs. Montana State 12/28: 29 pts

Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, scored 17 points in the previous two games — his fewest in a two-game span since he scored 14 points from Feb. 11-16, 2017 — to remain in 35th place on the program’s all-time scoring list. He enters tonight needing three points to surpass Percy Johnson for 34th place and within striking distance of Darius Burton for 33rd place (18 points) and Derrick Flowers for 32nd place (27 points).

32.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
33.) Darius Burton 1,060 (1993-97)
34.) Percy Johnson 1,045 (1950-53)
35.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,043 (2016-present)
36.) Jim Shaffer 1,022 (1991-95)
37.) John Irving 1,018 (1974-77)

If you’re thinking of Loren Stokes while watching Eli Pemberton, you’re not alone. Through 11 games during his junior season, the slashing Pemberton is averaging 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Through 11 games in his junior season of 2005-06, the slashing Stokes was averaging 13.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Hopefully Tony Skinn Jr. isn’t waiting to punch Pemberton in the privates in the CAA Tournament.

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (which unfortunately was released in 1992)
It’s early, but you’re not wrong if you’re thinking you’ve never seen a Dutchmen team shoot free throws this well. The Dutchmen were a robust 34-of-39 from the line in their previous two games, which increased their season-long percentage to 81.0 percent. That is, and I can’t believe I’m typing these words, the best percentage in the country entering today’s games. The Dutchmen rank just ahead of Incarnate Word (80.4 percent), The rest of the top five is Drexel (78.9 percent), Charlotte (78.7 percent) and Toledo (78.6 percent). At this rate, the Dutchmen would shatter the program record for free throw percentage set by the 2010-11 team, which drained 76.1 percent of its free throws.

Last year’s team shot 68.2 percent from the free throw line. But subtracting Rokas Gustys’ performance (45-of-120, 37.5 percent), the Dutchmen would have shot 74.7 percent, which would have been the third-best single-season mark in program history. 

SUNY-Stony Brook, under third-year head coach Jeff “Parker Executive Search Committee” Boals, is 10-2 this season and has won two straight, including a 74-68 victory over Delaware on Sunday. 

SUNY-Stony Brook was picked to finish tied for fourth in the America East this season. Junior forward Akwasi Yeboah, who was selected to the preseason all-America East team, leads SUNY-Stony Brook with 20.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore Elijah Olaniyi (12.0 ppg) and Miles Latimer (11.6 ppg) are also averaging double-digits in points for SUNY-Stony Brook.

The Dutchmen and SUNY-Stony Brook have two common foes this season. In addition to beating Delaware, SUNY-Stony Brook also beat Manhattan, 69-62, on Dec. 5.

Hofstra is 21-5 all-time against SUNY-Stony Brook, including 3-1 since the series resumed in 2014. The Dutchmen won their second straight game in the series last Dec. 12, when they edged the Patriots, 84-81, at SUNY-Stony Brook. Tonight’s game marks the beginning of a new four-year contract between the schools.

Hofstra is 19-17-1 in all sports against SUNY-Stony Brook since the two schools began scheduling each other again in the spring of 2014, including 14-6-1 since the 2016-17 school year began.

At this morning, Hofstra is ranked 113th while SUNY-Stony Brook is ranked 173rd. predicts a 75-74 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 1-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 9-2 against the spread this season.

The 18-5 (.783 winning percentage) combined record of the two teams at the time of their meeting is the best since SUNY-Stony Brook moved to Division I for the 1999-2000 season. Hofstra and SUNY-Stony Brook previously entered their clash with a combined winning percentage of at least .700 in 2004, when Hofstra was 8-0 and SUNY-Stony Brook was 4-4, and 2008, when the Dutchmen were 6-1 and SUNY-Stony Brook was 5-3.

Hofstra is 81-33 all-time against current America East schools. Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Dutchmen have faced at least one America East opponent every season except 2012-13. SUNY-Stony Brook, which was a Division III school for decades, completed its transition to Division I and joined the America East upon Hofstra’s departure.

Joe Nathan bias! (The All-Star closer played at SUNY-Stony Brook)
State school bias! (SUNY-Stony Brook tries to pretend it’s not a state school, but believe me, it is)
We haven’t had football for nine years but you still have 20 fewer NFL alumni than we do bias! (It’s a mouthful but just trust me)
Where will you demand the “AE Playoffs” be played this season bias? (A new twist on an old favorite)

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